The ninepence value is the only stamp in the set that was not recess printed by De La Rue. The first plates were produced by Waterlow for litho offset printing.

Single watermark


Smaller design


Multi wmk,
slate grey


Single wmk

The 9d was first issued on 1 May 1935 on single watermarked paper and perf 14x14½. The colour is black and scarlet and there is no plate number. The stamps were printed by Waterlow, but all subsequent printings were made in New Zealand.

Multi-watermarked paper

sheet number

perf 14x14½

Stamps on multiple watermarked paper were issued in June 1936 on sheets with the watermark sideways. The perforation is 14x15. This, and all subsequent printings, was by the Government Printer in Wellington. The border is often slate-grey rather than black.

green opt

New plates with 120 impressions were produced by Coulls, Somerville and Wilkie of Dunedin and stamps issued on 1 March 1938. The watermark is upright and the perf is 14x14½. Again, the border is often slate-grey rather than black.

Official stamps perf 14x14½ with the overprint in green were also issued on 1 March 1938.

Smaller design

black opt bars

Coulls, Somerville and Wilkie later produced new plates of 240 impressions for surface printing in which the design is smaller. The first issue in May 1941 was on single watermarked paper while from September 1941, the stamps were on multi-watermarked paper. In both cases, the perforation was 14x15.

The two sizes of design are easily distinguished. As the stamps are the same size, there is a larger space between the design and the perforations. The registration between the two colours is much better in the smaller design and the border is always black.

Official stamps with a black overprint were issued in October 1943.

The printings in New Zealand had wide margins and to stop the paper being used for illegal purposes, bars were printed in the selvedge. An example of the bottom margin of the smaller design on multi-watermarked paper is shown.

Airmail use

The airmail postage rate to the UK was 1/6 until 1938. As there was no 1/6 value, a common use of the 9d was as a pair on airmail covers.


The 9d was replaced by the George VI definitive in 1947.

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The above information is taken from The Postage Stamps of New Zealand Vol 1 and 2 published by the Royal Philatelic Society of New Zealand in 1938 and 1950. All scans were made by the author.